Foraging Code of Conduct

Un-official code of conduct, courtesy of Transition Belsize:· Take flowers and foliage only from large patches of the plant (rule of thumb only take 1/3 of what is available).· Always pick in moderation so that plenty is left for other wildlife and other humans to enjoy.· Don't take all the flowers otherwise no fruit will grow.· Don't take all the fruits otherwise no seeds will grow.· Try to re-seed or encourage fresh growth for others to find and enjoy.· Be careful not to damage other vegetation when picking flowers. Also watch for thorns, stingers & plants such as hog weed which can cause rashes.· Picking nuts, berries, leaves etc. is permitted on Rights of Way, but the uprooting of any wild plants is illegal without the landowner's permission.· Be careful not to trespass when picking (overhanging branches are okay though).· Untended road verges and public rights of way are often good sources of wild flowers, but look out for traffic!· Never take material from a nature reserve or protected site without permission.· Do not pick flowers such as poppies as they will wilt before you get them home.· Some plants and fungi are poisonous, so if you are not 100% certain that your identification is correct, do not eat them.· Avoid foraging where agricultural sprays or vehicle pollution may have contaminated produce (so avoid foraging near roads)· Take extra care with Japanese Knotweed, which is delicious but could have been sprayed and is covered by specific regulations.· Wash everything well before eating as it may have been peed on by dogs and other animals.· Do not forage without permission for commercial purposes (this is an offence under the Theft Act 1968)- Suggested things to forage for (sustainably):- Nettles - Blackberries - Rosehips - Elderflowers and berries - Hawthorn flowers, leaves and berries - Sloes - Damsons - Lime leafs - Common Sorrel - Docks - Dandelions - Thistle - Hedge Mustard - Plaintains - Chickweed - Hogweed